I stepped outside of my normal routines last night, watching a sporting event in a local bar with some friends. It was the Chicago White Sox Baseball Club Team League Players versus the Bishops of Montreal or Minnesota or something. The two teams had identical records for the season, and the game's outcome would determine which team would advance to the playoffs and the which would begin puttering around their houses or going on cruises and the like. Unlike most jobs you or I might have, this extra month of vacation is apparently undesirable.
I arrived at the bar somewhere in the third inning, with both teams tied at zero. That remained the case for quite a while. I was told later that the game was a "nailbiter," but to my eye it was kinda boring. Honestly, if I want to watch groups of men fail to earn points at a game they are paid millions of dollars to play, I can always watch soccer (see also: football, futbol).
Anyway, Chicago won, "clinching" their way into the postseason with, I guess, a dramatic clinching sound. But, of course, this was the wrong Chicago team as I live on the North side of Chicago. More traditionally, the north belongs to the famed Chicago Cubs, who have not won the "World Series"—a contest which assumes the world consists entirely of parts of America and a couple of towns in Canada—in one hundred years.
Now my position all along has been that if you've managed to have a team for a hundred years without winning the grand prize of baseball, they really ought to just let you have it. Once every hundred years seems more than fair. But apparently they don't do it like that, and the Cubs must battle the same as any other team for the right to the trophy or ribbon or whatever they give the winners of that thing (a glass of milk?). They get the millions of dollars either way.
The thing is, the Cubs are apparently very good this year, and did their own clinching some time ago. Both teams from our fair city have big-shouldered themselves into the postseason, and a World Series consisting of only teams whose stadiums can be reached via the Red Line train is, while not terribly likely, at least a mathematical possibility. So, as a Northsider, I am now obligated to unleash some trash talk on the White Sox. Here goes.
1. That one pitcher you guys have is quite hefty, and his facial hair is ill-advised.
2. A close up of the lantern-jawed guy who hit that home run last night made me rethink the entire concept of high-definition television. His chewing tobacco did not gain him any points in this area. Where was he spitting? Just on the ground in front of him? I saw no spittoons.
3. How hard is it to spell the word "socks?" Are we to imagine that no one has thought to correct this typo since your team came into existence? It's just laziness, and you should be ashamed.
4. If you guys are so great, then how come the..uh...(loses interest, watches an hour of television)
OK, so I really don't care about sports. I have only pretended to in order to waste your time, and to justify these pictures of fireworks that I took at the White Sox game I attended with friends in June.
A couple of people who saw the shots asked me how to photograph fireworks, which are generally small bursts of light in an otherwise dark frame. My secret is to shoot several hundred pictures, and hope for a dozen or so that actually work.
Here are three:
As a tiny bonus, here's a shot I quite liked of the park itself, just around dusk:
To join in the Phoctober fun, simply do a photo post and come tell me about it in the comments. I'll ink a link for the following day's post. Sadly, this year, I can only guarantee a link if you come and tell me you did a post, as last year it was very time-consuming trying to track down the entries. This year I have a job.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008